I have a reputation for being an experimenter with my health. I came across naturopathic medicine in my twenties, and my eyes were opened to the myriad of holistic choices there are to support physical health. However, sometimes things don’t work out well when I take matters into my own hands. There was the time I had a rash on my chest, and I put a garlic poultice on it. The application became incredible painful. I just assumed that meant it was working. I ended up with a second-degree burn and a scar that lasted for years. Another time I did a three-day fast and ended it by having dinner at a five-star restaurant. I was violently ill afterwards.
My current experiment is related to my thyroid medication. I forgot to refill my prescription before going away on vacation over spring break and didn’t refill it immediately upon my return. I managed by cutting my pills in half so they lasted longer and then went a few days without. I felt fine. The challenge occurred when I started taking the medicine again. After a couple of days of being on the right dose, I was barely sleeping. I couldn’t understand why at first, but then I realized my body had adjusted to the lower dose of the medication. I hate not sleeping so rather than ride it out, I switched back to taking the half dose. I thought if my body is demonstrating the capacity to adjust to the half dose amount, why not see how that goes?
After a few more weeks, however, I am noticing that my energy is lower, and I am feeling more sensitive and irritable. Not terribly so, but enough not to feel myself. My mood is definitely dropping low at times. I am not saying the medication changes are the cause of this. There may be a correlation. I am saying, I am noticing that I am more vulnerable to my low mood thoughts than I have been in a while.
Someone asked me recently if I am in a good mood more of the time since coming across the Three Principles. This understanding does give me a deeper experience of being both human and spiritual, and helps me recognize more of the time that I create my feelings from the inside-out. But, I happened to be in a low mood at the time, and could not definitively say “yes” I have fewer low moods as a result of seeing these things. What I do experience though is the freedom of not being as bothered by my low moods as I was previously. I used to feel incapacitated by them. Even though I can’t say I have low moods less of the time, especially with my current experience, my capacity to function and know I am okay even if I am in a low mood is apparent in a way it was not previously. This feels like an incredible blessing to me.
It gives me freedom from trying to manage my moods and allows me to use my energy for other things. Just the other day, I was in a low mood and irritated with my husband Angus. He asked me how long it was going to take me to stabilize. Hint: This is not a good question to ask someone when he or she is upset. I was in a dark place at the time and said, “Maybe never!” And my mood kept going down. I lost my appetite. I was too upset to eat the dinner I had just picked up. I was dwelling on how justified I was to be angry with Angus. When I went to bed, I was too restless to sleep well. This is all territory I have visited before. The difference was I was not taking myself seriously while going though this. I was not enjoying my feeling state, but I also wasn’t worked up about it. I was connected with the deeper knowing of my wellbeing that is independent of my emotional state.
This may not sound very uplifting. It is not my intention to be a Debbie Downer, but for me the promise of having a deeper connection with your true nature is far greater than being in a good mood more often. It is in of the comfort and reassurance of knowing that all of human experience is okay. I used to think my work as a human was to improve myself so I would ultimately be less human and more spiritual. Now I experience the healing of knowing there is no work to do on myself. I am, as we all are, both form and formless.
There is no becoming more of what we already are. There is just seeing the perfection of what is more clearly.
Understanding the Principles does not mean I don’t have low moods, it may not even mean that I have less low moods, or that I never experience the extremes of my moods. The benefit I get is that through seeing more clearly:
- I experience life from my state of consciousness which has greater and lesser clarity at times;
- I bring my transitory thinking alive moment-to-moment and that the quality of my thinking varies;
- Thought is not reality. It just allows me to have a subjective experience of the formless intelligence behind life.
It helps me to feel more connected to and experience more fully the infinite potential of formless energy that is the essence of who we all are no matter where I am on the mood continuum. The experience of my true nature allows me to know I am okay.
I share this to point to the benefit of looking more in the direction of the unchanging essence of who you are rather than monitoring or managing your ever-changing experience. I can’t guarantee a better mood, but I do know your true nature, like mine, is wellbeing.
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. Rohini facilitates personalized three-day retreats for individuals, couples, and professionals to help them connect more fully with their true nature and experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can find out more about Rohini’s work on her website, rohiniross.com.